Sir Richard Branson has paid tribute to an an Israeli woman who won a business development prize, after she was killed in a road accident in Tel Aviv.
Dr Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, a marine biologist, was the chief executive of ECOncrete, a company she co-founded with Dr Ido Sella.
She had been due to take part in an International Women’s Day seminar on Monday together with Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Tsipi Hotovely, and the executive producer of Shtisel, Dikla Barkai.
The event was due to take place under the auspices of the UK’s Tel Aviv UniversityTrust.
She was killed on Sunday night after her e-scooter was in collision with a lorry in central Tel Aviv. She was knocked off her scooter and did not survive the accident.
Dr Perkol-Finkel, 46, won the “Pitch to Rich” award in October 2019 as part of the celebrations around Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flights between London and Tel Aviv. Her company makes environmentally sensitive concrete which can be used to strengthen marine infrastructure, often damaged by climate change or erosion.
Sir Richard Branson told Jewish News it was “such sad news. I was inspired by Shimrit’s vision and drive when she presented her ideas in Tel Aviv. My thoughts are with her family.”
In 2019 the company installed its first UK fixture, a tide pool coastal installation at North Portsea, next to Plymouth, designed to preserve the coastline of Portsea Island and offer a habitat for local marine life.
Dr Perkol-Finkel, who was the mother of three young children, also won the EU women innovators award.
Virgin described her as “an inspiring woman”.
Its chief executive, Shai Weiss paid respects, posing on LinkedIn that he “was deeply saddened” by her death.
“I share my sincere condolences with Dr Perkol-Finkel’s family and loved ones at this sad time. May her legacy inspire the next generation of female engineers and bring positive change to male-dominated industries.”
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